Ford Conservatives Introducing New Skilled Trades Program

The provincial government is moving forward with its plan to wind down the Ontario College of Trades.

As part of the 2019 budget, the Ford government announced it was setting out to modernize the apprenticeship and skilled trades system. 

At the Darlington nuclear plant east of Toronto, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Merrilee Fullerton, announced Ontario will introduce portable skill sets to help speed up certification and training in the skilled trades, without compromising health and safety. 

She describes portable skill sets as a flexible, faster, more targeted way to make sure people can get the skills they need to get to work, quicker.

"Apprentices will be able to trained and certified in separate, core skills and be able to work immediately with the option of completing or adding further training later."

Fullerton says portable skill sets will not eliminate compulsory trades.

"Apprentices will have the option to come back for training in other skills to expand their abilities and qualifications so that they can train in a full trade at their own pace and as their job entails." She adds there will also be new financial incentive cost-sharing programs that will help small and medium employers participate in the apprenticeship training process.

"By reducing their administrative and training costs and we will  also be developing  a new online, client-facing digital system moving from paper based administration will help speed up and improve service delivery," says Fullerton.

Ken Hartwick, the President and CEO of Ontario Power Generation (OPG) was on hand for today's announcement and says OPG and Bruce Power have estimated that between 2021 and 2026 they will need about 1,000 boilermakers.